Sir Simon Rattle, taken by Rory Coonan with a Victorian plate camera in 1982
Sir Simon Rattle, taken by Rory Coonan with a Victorian plate camera in 1982
 

An unseen photograph of Sir Simon Rattle taken with a 150-year-old camera is to go on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

The unpublished photograph of the former City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conductor has been acquired to mark his 60th birthday.

It was taken in 1982, two years after he joined the CBSO and when he was 27, by Rory Coonan using a Victorian plate camera.

The image is dominated by a fireplace and painting in Craxton Studios in London, a rehearsal space for musicians.

Rory Coonan, a former head of architecture at the Arts Council of Great Britain, said the shot needed a long exposure so Sir Simon had to keep still for several minutes.

He said: “These old plate cameras require the sitter to participate, make an effort.

“It takes great concentration to sit under these conditions. I recall Rattle was exceptionally composed – a rare ability.”